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[chohk] /tʃoʊk/
verb (used with object), choked, choking.
to stop the breath of by squeezing or obstructing the windpipe; strangle; stifle.
to stop by or as if by strangling or stifling:
The sudden wind choked his words.
to stop by filling; obstruct; clog:
Grease choked the drain.
to suppress (a feeling, emotion, etc.) (often followed by back or down):
I managed to choke back my tears.
to fill chock-full:
The storeroom was choked with furniture.
to seize (a log, felled tree, etc.) with a chain, cable, or the like, so as to facilitate removal.
to enrich the fuel mixture of (an internal-combustion engine) by diminishing the air supply to the carburetor.
Sports. to grip (a bat, racket, or the like) farther than usual from the end of the handle; shorten one's grip on (often followed by up).
verb (used without object), choked, choking.
to suffer from or as from strangling or suffocating:
He choked on a piece of food.
to become obstructed, clogged, or otherwise stopped:
The words choked in her throat.
the act or sound of choking.
a mechanism by which the air supply to the carburetor of an internal-combustion engine can be diminished or stopped.
Machinery. any mechanism that, by blocking a passage, regulates the flow of air, gas, etc.
Electricity, choke coil.
a narrowed part, as in a chokebore.
the bristly upper portion of the receptacle of the artichoke.
Verb phrases
choke off, to stop or obstruct by or as by choking:
to choke off a nation's fuel supply.
choke up,
  1. to become or cause to become speechless, as from the effect of emotion or stress:
    She choked up over the sadness of the tale.
  2. to become too tense or nervous to perform well:
    Our team began to choke up in the last inning.
1150-1200; Middle English choken, cheken, variant of achoken, acheken, Old English ācēocian to suffocate; akin to Old Norse kōk gullet
Related forms
chokeable, adjective
interchoke, verb (used with object), interchoked, interchoking.
unchokeable, adjective
unchoked, adjective
3. block, dam, plug. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for choke
  • Wiggle sticks or arm movement would completely make me choke.
  • As you know, one never gives chicken bones to a dog because they splinter and will choke the animal.
  • It won't choke other crops, but it will definitely be a presence.
  • Small, almost imperceptible changes in the terrain were forcing the battalion's vehicles into natural choke points.
  • choke is not a pretty word in the idiom of professional sports.
  • Finally, he starts to choke up, and gestures to the camera to stop shooting.
  • When illegal ones are planned, police detain opposition leaders, choke off roads and turn cars away from rallying points.
  • The condition is not uncommon in the breed and using a choke collar is a no no.
  • But more often a gull will choke the scraps down mid-flight.
  • They could also pose a choking risk to children and the choke prone.
British Dictionary definitions for choke


(transitive) to hinder or stop the breathing of (a person or animal), esp by constricting the windpipe or by asphyxiation
(intransitive) to have trouble or fail in breathing, swallowing, or speaking
(transitive) to block or clog up (a passage, pipe, street, etc)
(transitive) to retard the growth or action of the weeds are choking my plants
(transitive) to suppress (emotion) she choked her anger
(intransitive) (slang) to die
(transitive) to enrich the petrol-air mixture by reducing the air supply to (a carburettor, petrol engine, etc)
(intransitive) (esp in sport) to be seized with tension and fail to perform well
the act or sound of choking
a device in the carburettor of a petrol engine that enriches the petrol-air mixture by reducing the air supply
any constriction or mechanism for reducing the flow of a fluid in a pipe, tube, etc
(electronics) Also called choke coil. an inductor having a relatively high impedance, used to prevent the passage of high frequencies or to smooth the output of a rectifier
the inedible centre of the head of an artichoke
See also choke back, choke up
Derived Forms
chokeable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ācēocian, of Germanic origin; related to cheek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for choke
c.1200, aphetic of acheken, from O.E. aceocian "to choke" (with intensive a-), probably from base of ceoke "jaw, cheek." Meaning "valve which controls air to a carburetor" first recorded 1926. Choke-cherry (1785) so called for its astringent qualities. Choker "large neckerchief" is from 1848.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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choke in Medicine

choke (chōk)
v. choked, chok·ing, chokes

  1. To interfere with the respiration of by compression or obstruction of the larynx or trachea.

  2. To have difficulty in breathing, swallowing, or speaking.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for choke



To become ineffective because of tension or anxiety; choke up: I studied all night for my test and I totally choked (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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choke in Technology

To fail to process input or, more generally, to fail at any endeavor.
E.g. "NULs make System V's "lpr(1)" choke." See barf, gag.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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